Conference shines spotlight on family planning in Myanmar
Pathfinder International joins Myanmar’s Ministry of Health in hosting the three-day Family Planning Best Practices Conference beginning Monday, June 30, 2014.
The conference brings together more than 100 guests from Myanmar and around the world at the Mingalar Thiri Hotel in the capital city of Naypyitaw to discuss best practices in family planning, while providing township representatives an opportunity to share experiences and develop localized action plans around family planning and related reproductive health services.
“Pathfinder hopes to work actively with state and township health personnel, not just for these three days, but beyond—through follow-up activities to improve national public sector service delivery capacity for birth spacing and reproductive health in Myanmar,” says Sono Aibe, Senior Advisor for Strategic Initiatives at Pathfinder, who will be presenting at the conference.
The conference, made possible thanks to anchor funding from the David and Lucile Packard Foundation, follows Myanmar’s November 2013 commitment to FP2020 and its goal of enabling 120 million more women and girls to use contraceptives by 2020.
The first day of the conference welcomed comments from H.E. Minister of Health Dr. Pe Thet Khin and Dr. Theingi Myint of Myanmar’s Department of Health.
“This conference is part of our efforts to acknowledge the importance of family planning in improving the health of the nation,” said Minister of Health Dr. Pe Thet Kin during his opening remarks. “Together we will identify bottlenecks and challenges we are facing, and develop innovative solutions and plans for actions for the future.”
On the first day, attendees took part in discussions with international experts on effective practices in family planning to learn from global experiences. Representatives from WHO, UNFPA, the Gates Institute at Johns Hopkins University, Stanford University, the Government of Indonesia, and Pathfinder will actively lead discussions that call on recent research and program implementation experience.
The Family Planning Best Practices Conference follows Myanmar’s commitment to FP2020 and its goal of enabling 120 million more women and girls to use contraceptives by 2020.
The second and third day will provide the ten attending township teams an opportunity to develop action plans together with state level health directors. Township teams will use this hands-on portion of the event to develop tangible implementation plans that incorporate lessons from the best practices presentations and knowledge and advice from their peers.
In planning the conference with the Ministry of Health, Pathfinder was joined by several contributing partners: the 3MDG Fund, FP2020/UN Foundation, UNFPA, and WHO.
Technical partners include the Bill and Melinda Gates Institute for Population and Reproductive Health, BkkbN of Indonesia, the Futures Group, Myanmar Maternal and Child Welfare Association, Myanmar Partners for Policy and Research, Marie Stopes International, and Population Services International.
Merlin/Save the Children, Myanmar Medical Association, Myanmar Nurses and Midwives Association, and Myanmar Women’s Affairs Federation were also involved in conference planning.
Pathfinder began its work in Myanmar in the 1950s, playing a key role in the formation of the Family Planning Association of Myanmar (then Burma) in 1960. Today, Pathfinder implements the Packard Foundation-funded Addressing Sexual and Reproductive Health Needs in Myanmar project advocating for increasing access to contraceptives and other reproductive health services.
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